After a series of tornadoes ripped through the Chicago area on Sunday, insurance experts are offering homeowners tips on how to get on the road to recovery after undergoing property damage or destruction during the storms.
In a press release, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association recommends that homeowners contact their insurers or insurance agents as soon as possible if their home suffered damage during the Sunday storms, which spawned multiple tornadoes in several suburban communities.
According to the group, most severe weather events, including tornadoes, are covered under standard homeowners, renters or auto insurance policies. Those policies also provide reimbursement for living expenses while a property is uninhabitable due to a covered loss, and policy holders should contact their insurance companies immediately to determine the proper steps for moving forward.
Insurance companies are also warning consumers about the dangers of third-party contractors, who will seek out business in the aftermath of the storm.
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“It is important to consider any proposals from contractors, public adjusters and lawyers offering to help with the insurance claim and damage repair process,” the press release reads.
Consumers are advised to call an insurer to report damage and to start the claims process before agreeing to any contracts to do repair work.
Here are some additional tips offered by the APCIA:
-Secure your property from further damage, or theft
-Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage and to get your claim started.
-Beware of unscrupulous contractors. Contact your insurer or local business bureau for references on potential contractors, and take other protective steps prior to signing any contracts.
-If you are a business owner, keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively impacted by the tornado, and keep track of extra expenses.
Residents are also urged to make an inventory of items that were lost or damaged. Photograph the damage to share with an insurance adjuster.